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Marine Science



Deep-sea Seadevil voted one of the ‘ugliest’ fish in the sea. The Seadevil angler fish was voted as “one of the ugliest deep-sea fish species” during the launch of the new Explorers educational book and resources Explorers: The Good, The Bad + The Ugly Deep Sea Species and resourceswhich took place at the Marine Institute exhibit held at the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2022.

Inspired by the work of the Marine Institute’s scientists that carry out deep-sea fishing surveys on board the research vessels each year, Cushla Dromgool-Regan Explorers strategic education and communications manager at Camden Education Trust said she was delighted to produce a new book and resources that showcased the amazing animals that are found in the deepest parts of the ocean in Ireland and around the world.

“I love deep-sea animals and their amazing ability to adapt under extreme conditions. The animals selected for the book were based on some of our favourite deep-sea species that we have affectionately called the good, the bad and the ugly – because of their incredible features that help them survive. Some look cute but are deadly and others look angry but are basically looking for their next meal,” remarked Cushla Dromgool-Regan.

At the exhibit families were introduced to some of these amazing animals, where they saw a display of supersized photos of the deep-sea species. The Blobfish known as Mr Blobby, the viperfish with giant fangs, the hagfish that produces slime in seconds, and the goblin shark with a protruding jaw were just some of the children’s favourites.

As our mascot, we were delighted to see the Black seadevil anglerfish come in with top votes by children who loved learning about its bioluminescent lure, expandable stomach and huge mouth that can pretty much eat anything it can get its mouth around,” said Ms Dromgool-Regan.

“There are over 200 species of anglerfish. Among them the species known as the Monkfish, can open its mouth wide enough to engulf other animals larger than itself.  It is reported that Monkfish have been found with birds in their stomachs including gulls, puffins, and cormorants,” Ms Dromgool-Regan added.

Patricia Orme, Corporate Services Director, Marine Institute, congratulated the Explorers team on the production of the excellent new resources: “This will certainly generate excitement in the classroom! The materials are packed full of photos and graphics showing the greatest explorers, ocean zones, as well as the weird and wonderful creatures that call the deep-sea home.

The workbook and lessons and activities are also really well illustrated and we are sure will help develop children’s STEM skills, while also increasing their engagement in the ocean.”

The Explorers The Good, The Bad + The Ugly: Deep Sea Species and resources are free to download from www.marine.ie/explorers. The Explorers team will also be delivering Deep-sea Species class projects with primary schools, where teachers will receive printed copies of the introductory book and workbooks, with a range of cross-curricular activities for the children.

There are over twenty cross curricular activities to choose from, such as making an anglerfish light card – learning about electricity and circuits – to one of the Explorers teams’ favourites: creating fashion from slime, inspired by the hag fish.  For more information about booking the Explorers class projects see the Explorers contacts at www.marine.ie/explorers

The Explorers Education Programme is funded by the Marine Institute ― the State agency for marine research and development and delivered by Outreach Centres to primary schools around the country, including Leave No Trace Ireland, Galway Atlantaquaria, Sea Synergy, Old Cork Waterworks – Lifetime Lab, Oceanics, and SEASHOREKIDS.